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Old 08-28-2012, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default Schumacher Mi1 vs Associated TC4 - US Expat in SA

First off, hello everyone. First post here. Please be gentle.

Ok, here's the delima. I'm a US expat living in South Africa. I have about a year left here in SA. The bug has bit to get a new setup, and I want a 4wd on road touring car. I'm not new to RC, but definitely new to on-road cars. I've been to the local shop here and OMG, stuff is expensive. Almost everyone around here is running Schumacher cars. It's clearly the most popular and thus, parts are easy to get here. They want the equivalent of $275 (R2200 - rand) for a Mi1 kit. They also want $175 for a SpeedPassion ESC and motor. You get the idea. $$$

So, my sister and mom are coming out here in about a month. I can order whatever and they'll bring it. I can order the Mi1 setup and I'll have parts out here. But, doing some research, I believe I want a TC4. I'll be using the car on the street a lot practicing and having fun, but occasionally racing (17.5t and 13.5t are popular here). I think the shaft driven TC4 would be better for me. I'm also an Associated fan. However, there are ZERO parts out here for AE stuff. I'd be main ordering, which is very expensive and there's still no guarantee you'll actuall get it, since crime is so bad. Or, for small stuff, I could have a coworker inter-office mail me small stuff stuck in with some drawings.

So knowing the situation, what would you do? Get the Schumacher and have parts now, but mail order parts when I get back home and race? Or, have my sister bring me a TC4 club spec, plus spare parts? Either way, I'm bringing home whatever I get.

So, if I do get the TC4, what spare parts and other "must haves" should I order? Barring some catastrophe crash into a light pole, what are common things that break on this car? Keep in mind, I'm moving home in 10 months and I can get whatever universal parts (turnbuckles, pinions, etc...). Question about that, are bodies and wheels "universal"?

Also, what motor/ESC would you recommend? I can afford whatever, but I'm not into blowing money if it makes no difference. I want an ESC and 2 motors; one "fun" one for street use and high speed blasts, and a solid 17.5t stock for racing. I'm considering the Novak GTB 2 17.5t for racing, and a 6.5t stator for "fun". No idea about pinions and spurs for these setups.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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Its hard to say because I would also be tempted to go with the TC4. On the other hand I always tell people to go with what you can get parts for. Ten months is not that long and if you dont mind having to smuggle spur gears and A arms to yourself then you could go with the AE car. They certainly are easier to get parts for around here.

If you go with Associated I would just make sure you have the breakables and the wearables. Arms, C-hubs, Pins, maybe some extra bearings and CVD joints.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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The bodies are almost universal. You have to drill the post holes to fit your particular chassis. HPI makes little divits in their shells that mark the place to drill post holes to fit their cars, but you can put an HPI shell on any other brand of chassis. You just have to figure out your own post location. I do this before painting the shell. Tamiya also makes it easier to fit their shells on their chassis. Most body manufacturers rely on you to figure out your own fittment to the chassis.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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The bodies are almost universal. You have to drill the post holes to fit your particular chassis. HPI makes little divits in their shells that mark the place to drill post holes to fit their cars, but you can put an HPI shell on any other brand of chassis. You just have to figure out your own post location. I do this before painting the shell. Tamiya also makes it easier to fit their shells on their chassis. Most body manufacturers rely on you to figure out your own fittment to the chassis.
Thanks for all the advice.

Would you happen to know if a Schumacher or Tamyia body would fit on the TC4? The reason I'm asking all this is I'm trying to minimize what I "make" my sister bring over for me.

What about wheels?
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #5
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They should. Is that what you have access to? The TC4 is a 190mm chassis. So if you use wheels that have a 0mm offset then you should use a 190mm Body. You can use a 200mm body on it if you use wheels with say 5-8mm offset
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #6
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Sorry double post
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:53 PM   #7
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They should. Is that what you have access to? The TC4 is a 190mm chassis. So if you use wheels that have a 0mm offset then you should use a 190mm Body. You can use a 200mm body on it if you use wheels with say 5-8mm offset
At the track and shop I visited in my reconnaissance mission, Schumacher is what all the top guys run, and what the shop pushes, and everything else is Tamiya. Now, that is a pretty general statement. I'm sure there's some other stuff, but that's not the popular brands.

So, the nut on the backside of the wheel is pretty typical?

Are there any "must have" upgrades I should order with the car that you'd recommend?
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Corners View Post
At the track and shop I visited in my reconnaissance mission, Schumacher is what all the top guys run, and what the shop pushes, and everything else is Tamiya. Now, that is a pretty general statement. I'm sure there's some other stuff, but that's not the popular brands.

So, the nut on the backside of the wheel is pretty typical?

Are there any "must have" upgrades I should order with the car that you'd recommend?
Yes you should be able to buy Tamiya, HPI, AE, Shumacher or any other brand that says its for Touring cars and they should fit that hex. Losi is kind of weird in that they have a bigger axle, but they arent making a touring car right now. Even with theirs the Hub was the same size.

Tamiya has beautiful shells but they dont take punishment very well. Very detailed though.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:05 PM   #9
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Hi Corners,

If everyone around you is running Schumacher then I can with relative confidence say that you went to Grand Prix Models / K90, that is there main brand so they wouldn't promote another product favourably.

Personally if I was spending the money it wouldn't be on either an Mi1 or a TC4, there are plenty of lightly used newer generation cars available locally for less than that.

TOP Racing , Tamiya, Associated, HB, XRay and Yokomo are all available here and all have good parts support, TOP currently has about the best support as far as parts availability goes.

Any 190MM body will fit the 2 cars you've mentioned, however the Tamiya bodies are generally just a little narrower so if you widen the track width a little the wheels may sit flush to the wheel arch.

Not sure which area you're based in over here but I'd like to invite you to come and have a look at MMCRC(Meyersdal Model Car Racing Club) at the Meyersdal Mall, most of the major brands are well represented at the club and our next club event is on 29 September and we are hosting the Tamiya Cup / TCS Final over the weekend of 22/23 September.

As another brand to consider have a look at TOP Racing SA.

http://www.topracingsa.co.za/
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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Nothing beats local support. Thanks for helping him out Skitee.

Corners if you are still set on AE look for a used TC6.1. They hold their own in the market and performance. Of course there are always fanboys for certain brands.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:26 PM   #11
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We do try where we can

Corners our local "stock"(17.5 & 13.5 Touring) classes are all still running boost so the GTB2 isn't going to cut it for racing if you want to be competitive.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:29 PM   #12
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Wow. Thanks Skitee. Yes, GP Models is exactly where I went. Not being a local, we rely heavily upon google for finding stuff, and I'm sure you're aware that a lot of places don't show up when searching. However, that's all I have to go by. GP Models seems to be the largest in the area. I did find a couple others, but they were nothing close to what GP was (and in fact, that's where some of the guys in the smaller shops told me to go). So, if you can recommend some others, that'd be great! I'm in Midrand.

So, boost, huh? That's a shame. I never thought that was "fair" or falls under the intent of what "stock" is supposed to be. But, if that's the rules...good to know. Thought most places went "blinky". Might have to get a Tekin then.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:09 PM   #13
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Well, if anyone cares, Skitee is the man and hooked me up with a double secret list of some very nice shops here in my area that don't show up on Google Maps (come ON South Africa, get on the Google train!). One is only 5 mins from my office and can get AE parts. Granted, the prices are double what they are in the US and may require a week or two wait, but still, that means I won't be dead in the water. So, armed with this education provided by Skitee, I ordered the TC4 and a Mamba Max Pro with a 5700kv "play time" motor that I'll have here in 5 weeks.

Thanks to Skitee, and thanks to RCTech for an international connection. I'll post my setup once it's done.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:17 PM   #14
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I'm glad he spoke up. I think you are better armed to figure out what you need to do now. I figured you would have gone with a more advanced chassis but I still think a TC4 can do business on the track.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:40 PM   #15
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I'm glad he spoke up. I think you are better armed to figure out what you need to do now. I figured you would have gone with a more advanced chassis but I still think a TC4 can do business on the track.
The TC4 appears to be a better car to be using around on the street (shaft drive + it's "cheap"). If I enjoy racing more, I'm sure I'll buy a more modern, dedicated track car. This is my first on-road car ever.
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